A Simple Side: Creamy Oven Risotto

A Simple Side: Creamy Oven Risotto

I’m sure cooking purists would beat me left and right if they heard me call today’s recipe “risotto”. Sure, it has the traditional arborio rice and white wine, but it involves basically no time tediously stirring while hovering over the stove top. Instead, this simple and tasty dish starts on the stovetop but finishes its creamy work in the oven, freeing you up to cook your entree or, like I did, watch Firefly and drink red wine with your husband : )

By letting the oven do the evaporation work and finishing with parmesan and butter, you get the thick and creamy texture of risotto with much less hassle.

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First things first, preheat your oven to 450° F, nice and toasty. Combine olive oil and a couple cloves of minced garlic in a large oven-proof pan or dutch oven (with a cover) over medium heat. When olive oil has been heated and the garlic is fragrant, add two cups of arborio rice to the pan and stir so every grain is well-coated with oil. Add one half cup of white wine to the pan and huff the fumes, I mean, stir and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Add four cups of water to the pan and let come to a boil. Once you’ve achieved a healthy boil, cover the pan and into the oven it goes! Let this bubble away for 25-30 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed, then remove from the hotbox. Add 2 Tablespoons of butter and (at least) half a cup of Parmesan cheese to the pan and stir until it’s all creamy and delicious. Add salt and pepper to taste as a finishing touch.

We served our oven risotto with fresh feta, spinach and chicken sausage that we skillet-cooked while the risotto bubbled away. The pan juices from the chicken sausage added a really nice savory touch to the creamy risotto; it would also be a great accompaniment to a hearty grilled steak or fresh fish.

Creamy Oven Risotto

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • ½ cup white white
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Heat olive oil and garlic in a large oven-proof dutch oven. Add rice and cook for about 1 minute, stirring so that it gets coated in oil. Add in wine and cook until the liquid evaporates. Add in the water and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and move pot into the oven. Bake until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 25-30 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and stir in the butter and parmesan cheese, stirring so that everything is incorporated. Serve immediately.

Based on a recipe from PoppyTalk

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White Wine Chicken Skillet

White Wine Chicken Skillet

As I said on Monday, we had our lovely neighbor Keri over for dinner Sunday night. Dinner in our apartment is, by necessity, a casual affair; we don’t have a dining table yet and Bueller doesn’t have good manners when it comes to begging/getting in your dinner business. So, when Keri comes over, I throw together something we can enjoy while sitting on the couch (along with a dessert like the Peanut Butter Crispies from earlier this week).

This week’s dinner was a tasty pasta skillet inspired by a recipe from Iowa Girl Eats, but adapted to meet what we were craving and had in the kitchen. Frozen corn joined little pasta, along with cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and a white wine sauce we doctored up with our favorite herbes de Provence and some thickening flour. When it all came together, we had a delicious dish on our hands that Keri and I both took for lunch the next day! This recipe can really take any veggies or protein you throw at it to your tastes; try spinach, peas or even asparagus in it and you’d have something yummy on your hands : )

White Wine Chicken Skillet

  • 3 cups orchiette pasta
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 4  boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • ¾ cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 Tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding frozen corn to water for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat butter and olive oil on high in a large skillet until melted and combined. Add chicken pieces to the skillet and brown on all sides until done. Set chicken aside.
  3. Reduce heat on the skillet to medium, add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, making sure to not let the garlic burn. Add the water/broth and wine, stirring to get all the good bits off the pan. Cook until reduced by about half, then add flour and herbes de Provence, stirring well so no lumps form.
  4. Turn off the heat, then add the cooked pasta, corn and chicken, plus the tomatoes and feta to the skillet and toss until well-coated.

The corn, tomatoes and feta give this pasta a fresh kick, even in the middle of winter. With protein from the chicken, grains in the pasta, two vegetables and dairy in the cheese, this is a nutritionally well-balanced meal to enjoy!

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Click here to download a PDF of this recipe!